‘Over the Border’ by Rida Khan, Age 15, Colchester Academy

Hushed tones and worried whispers
“Go play in your room”, they tell my sisters
Furrowed eyebrows and wrinkled faces
The floorboards creak with panicked paces

Through moonlit nights, we plot our illicit
Silent steps, cloaked in the cover of
Heartbeats race, a clandestine chase
Leaving behind a life we must erase

With forged papers and hidden fears
We tread softly, wiping away our tears
Each breath taken, a bittersweet token
Of freedom sought, but never spoken

Nonchalant is the mask worn
But calamitous are the words torn
From our souls in frantic scribbles on paper
A message in a bottle to guide the rest
some place safer

Bound for a land unknown, we strive
Risking it all, hoping to survive
Whispered prayers, stars as our guide
In shadows we move, side by side

We meet kind souls along this arduous flight
Guiding us with compassion, their beacons
of light
Their empathy strengthens our weary hearts
As we navigate these unfamiliar parts

The moonlight’s dance reveals our plight
As we go over the border, evading sight
The land we leave, memories tethered
In our hearts, a longing too great to be

Oh, distant shores, will you embrace
The souls who’ve fled from a torturous
We seek refuge, dreams within our grasp
Escaping the chains of a tormented past
and so

Through hushed tones and worried
We embark on this journey, together as
For freedom’s song, we’ll continue to
Until we find a place, our true forever